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Speaking to Lead, Inspire and Influence

Man talking to group of people


Date TBD


Managers and leaders realize the importance of continuous improvement and understand effective communication is integral to success. Whether speaking to employees, clients, B2B partners, community groups, or the media, an effective manager or leader learns to adapt the message and their approach to the audience. Mastering public speaking is challenging. It requires understanding how to present ideas in an organized and engaging way, delivering with confidence, and, ultimately, making a personal connection with audience members.

Although challenging, public speaking need not be intimidating. With courage and desire, managers and leaders can improve their public speaking skills by learning the most up-to-date public speaking practices and techniques in an immersive and supportive setting.

This program will help participants develop an understanding of the science behind speaking presence, the importance of body language, such as gestures and posture, and the power of vocals, such as pitch and intonation. You will learn why it’s critical to incorporate the goal for the speech in advance – what you hope to achieve from the talk. Each individual will formulate his/her own development goals, as well as a presentation tailored to their intended audience.

Betty Farmer (Intro & Mindset) 

  • Introduction of training goals, modules, methods & trainers
  • Videotape of 1-minute, self-introduction speech
  • Communication apprehension survey
  • Assessment of previous speaking experiences (positive and negative)
  • Strategies for addressing communication apprehension
  • Developing the Speaker’s Mindset: Understanding and utilizing the science behind Amy Cuddy’s “Power Posing”
  • Review videos; identify individual coaching opportunities/areas for improvement
  • Homework: Identify topic and goal for final (Day 5) presentation

Barrie Barton and Bill Mackinnon (Content & Organization)

  • What I learned: first speaking activity
  • Overview of the public speaking process (content, organization & delivery)
  • Content, Organization & Purpose
  • Who is my audience? How can I use what I know about them to connect and be effective?
  • Steps in planning: Start with Why are you there? Then go to Where, Who, How, What and When and maximize your influence
  • How to organize and why organization is so important.
  • How to develop main topics/ideas and support with engaging material (stories, examples, statistics, etc.)
  • What will I say? The power of words.
  • Listening
  • In-class time to work on content and structure of final presentation.
  • Homework: Be prepared to deliver a 1-minute version of one main point of final presentation

Barrie Barton and Bill Mackinnon (Delivery)

  • Videotape delivery of 1-minute main point
  • Posture (continued & completed)
  • Preparation (continued & completed)
  • Improvisation
  • Breathing
  • Mindfulness
  • Voice
  • Videotape delivery of (same) 1-minute main point; identify difference/progress in delivery from beginning to end of day
  • Identify opportunities for coaching/improvement
  • Homework

Jim Manning (Technology); Betty Farmer (Speaking in the Spotlight) 


  • Web or virtual conferencing platforms such as “Zoom” and “Skype for business” are increasingly user friendly, efficient, inexpensive and a synchronous means of addressing remote audiences, but they are not always used effectively.
  • Learn best practices for organizing and hosting meetings, use of camera and microphone; how to incorporate visual aids
  • Guidelines for using PowerPoint and other visual aids, e.g. video clips


  • Preparing for the media spotlight; understanding the expectations of different media
  • Anticipating media questions & handling tough questions
  • Staying “On Message”; how to segue from reporter’s question to your message
  • Why “no comment” is a no-no

Neela Muñoz and Barrie Barton

Improvisational Speaking Session

  • Last minute questions/assistance
  • Final Presentations
  • Review and feed forward


Barrie Barton:

Whether it is through delivering your signature speech, pitching an idea to potential clients or performing your authentic stories, Barrie Barton is dedicated to the art of personal and professional engagement, communication and expression.  Through the empowering tools of presentation skills, stories and messages that matter, Barrie guides clients to discover and transform their true confidence, amplify their personal presence, powerfully deliver their message so they may flourish though positive engagement in the world. As the founder and lead facilitator of Stand and Deliver Asheville, a presence-based public speaking and communication skills coaching program for professionals, organizations and entrepreneurs, Barrie combine’s highly developed and insightful perspectives of body language, presentation mastery and adult learning methods with a talent and passion to motivate and encourage clients to reach their finest potential.


Dr. Betty Farmer: 

Dr. Betty Farmer is an award-winning professor of communication at Western Carolina University and an engaged campus and community leader. She holds the Ph.D. in Communication with emphases in public relations and organizational communication and a Master’s in Journalism, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has worked professionally as a journalist, public relations practitioner, fundraiser, and communication consultant. Her scholarship has appeared in the top communication and community engagement journals.Dr. Farmer specializes in public relations, crisis communication and communication skills training. She has provided communication training for a wide variety of individuals hailing from government, education, business and non-profits. Since 1993, she has directed her students in completing hundreds of public relations projects, including crisis communication plans, for community clients. In addition to several awards for teaching over her twenty-three year academic career, Dr. Farmer received WCU’s inaugural Excellence in Community Service Award in 2014 and the Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award in 2015. She also received two awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for her community engagement work in Dillsboro, North Carolina. As WCU’s Provost Fellow for Engagement, Dr. Farmer led WCU’s successful re-application to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to be reaffirmed as a “Community Engaged” university. Hallmarks of Dr. Farmer’s professional approach include her “can do” attitude, collaborative leadership style, strategic mindset, attention to detail and follow through.


Dr. Jim Manning:

Dr. Jim Manning has taught a variety of human communication courses at WCU since 1998 including Interpersonal and Intercultural communication, Public & Mediated communication, Rhetorical Criticism, Dramatic theory & Criticism and Conflict Resolution. Recent research interests have focused on the use of technology teaching communication majors resulting in conference presentations and publications in the Carolina Communications Association Journal.


Bill Mackinnon:

In his first career as a psychotherapist, Bill Mackinnon helped individuals and groups heal and grow whether he worked with them one-on-one, in families or groups. His skillset includes decades working with hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming as well as teaching business courses at the college level, including commercial training in customer service. In his second career, Bill taught public speaking and communication development to a range of executives, nationally and internationally, with a diverse group of clients from Fortune 500 companies. His instructional portfolio included executive coaching, intensive 1-to-3-day courses for groups of individuals and targeted training for teams preparing for high stakes presentations, both internally and at national and global conferences. With Bill's help, his clients won contracts ranging from $10 million to $6 billion. Bill also coached business leaders on how to work more successfully with their teams.
Bill is a new resident of Asheville, N.C., having moved north from Atlanta with his wife, Leslie. In his third career, Bill is exploring the possibilities of Conscious Capitalism, an evolution of capitalism that seeks to “Elevate Humanity Through Business.” His company, The Awakening Consultancy LLC, is working with leaders who are interested in increasing their organizations’ Social Capital, while being a great place to work, and making profits.


Neela Muñoz:

Instructor Neela Muñoz is a consultant and coach with Ignite CSP, a coaching firm that specializes in experiential, hands-on coaching and workshops that train clients to communicate with authenticity, clarity and meaning. Muñoz has an extensive background in theatre with over 20 years of experience as a seasoned actor, director and educator. This experience and knowledge allows her to creatively communicate the art of self-presentation. 

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